Labor pledges to remove 50 dangerous level crossings as part of congestion-busting transport plan

 

News article: Labor pledges to remove 50 dangerous level crossings as part of congestion-busting transport plan

The Victorian Opposition has released what it describes as an ambitious but conservative plan to relieve congestion on the state's roads.

  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
The Victorian Opposition has released what it describes as an ambitious but conservative plan to relieve congestion on the state's roads.

If it wins government next year, Labor says it will lease out the Port of Melbourne to a private operator.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews says that will provide the money to pay for the removal of 50 of Victoria's most dangerous level crossings.
Labor pledges to remove 50 dangerous level crossings as part of congestion-busting transport plan


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this is probably not a unreasonable idea. to remove level crossings from any system cannot be a bad approach.  it serves two purposes. it makes the network safer and reduces traffic congestion for cars waiting at crossings.

the rest of the plan seems a disappointment. do you guys really want more trucks on the bridge or do you need a much needed intermodal terminal in the west which can send containers to and from the port or ports?

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Mat Dunckley from Fairfax:



I tend to agree in as much as the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel is really required now.

I would like to have seen more rail expansion.  I could not find detail on much needed extensions past South Morang or electification to West Werribee.

Regards
Brian
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
The actual plan is here: http://www.danielandrews.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Victorian-Labors-Project-10000.pdf

About 35% of the grade separations on the list are on the Dandenong rail corridor - bloody good idea and it would be nice if they allowed for enough space to quadruplicate the track all the way out to Dandenong whilst they did the separations, too.

The Mernda extension is slated to be completed early than within the 20 years that the PTV Network Development Plan states - after Melbourne Metro supposedly. This is strange, given that Melbourne Metro would have no direct effect on the South Morang line. The Mernda extension might be more vital too, but that's another matter for debate.

The things that are conspicuously absent from the plan are two of the cheaper and better upgrades that could be done to the network alongside the level crossing removal - new trains and high capacity signalling. Daniel Andrews should steal a march on Napthine and announce some proper funding for the Next Generation Train order along with maybe another interim order to get rid of the blasted Hitachis once-and-for-all. High Capacity Signalling would be far cheaper than Melbourne Metro and have network-wide benefits.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
According to the release:

Victorian Labor will also take 5,000 trucks a day off the West Gate Bridge; $1 billion will go to our country roads and $1 billion to our suburban roads; and we will ease congestion at hotspots including the tullamarine Freeway and Hoddle Street.
Somebody

How will removing trucks from the westgate bridge be achieved?

Daniel Andrews prefers to spend money widening the tullamarine freeway above an airport link.

There is merit in the frankston corridor spending which will provide additional capacity for freight on the frankston line coming from the Port of Hastings. It would be great to remove all those level crossings.  It needs to be completed but I cannot see a timeframe in which it will be completed.

The city loop upgrades are a good initiative.

Would have been nice to see electrification to Geelong using AC.

The remainder looks to be road related.

A summary from the report:

the projects Victoria Labor has committed to as part of Project
10,000 will see:
ƒ
  1. Congestion bottle necks at 50 dangerous level crossings eradicated.
  2. ƒthe size of the city loop doubled.
  3. ƒFive thousand trucks a day taken off the West Gate Bridge.
  4. ƒthe tullamarine Freeway upgraded to six lanes from the CBd to the airport.
  5. ƒnew ways of tackling the gridlock on Hoddle Street.
  6. ƒ$1 billion in guaranteed arterial road funding for outer suburban communities.
  7. ƒ$1 billion in guaranteed arterial road funding for regional communities.
  8. ƒthousands of new train station car parks created from existing land and ‘value capture’ opportunities.


To me this is terribly disappointing.  No regional rail upgrades to speak of. No airport rail link.  No western suburbs intermodal terminal. No SG conversions for Tottenham Yard.

Could be a missed opportunity.

Regards
Brian
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

To me this is terribly disappointing.  No regional rail upgrades to speak of. No airport rail link.  No western suburbs intermodal terminal. No SG conversions for Tottenham Yard.

Could be a missed opportunity.

Regards
Brian
bevans
Totally agree.  If Napthine ditched the East-west link, went right ahead with Metro tunnel+airport link, and got serious about rail freight, he'd romp in at next year's election IMO.

One thing that should also be considered is that given all the equipment and expertise on the RRL project atm, 2015 would be an ideal time to get going on new rail projects with that existing resource close at hand.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland

About 35% of the grade separations on the list are on the Dandenong rail corridor - bloody good idea and it would be nice if they allowed for enough space to quadruplicate the track all the way out to Dandenong whilst they did the separations, too.

LancedDendrite
The Dandenong line Is In urgent need of rebuilding to grade separate It from the local community.

Grade separations would have to be a big vote winner, though some project may attract a lot of un needed NIMBY attention.

Most grade separations would be constructed just like the resent Nunawading, current Springvale, Mitcham works, where both road and rail are kept In service as long as possible before an all on cut In shutdown.

Allowing extra space for extra tracks would mostly be not possible, due to space limitations, though where the railway gets lowered on a new alinement, the former railway alinement can be dug out at a later date for track amp works.

If a stand alone road bridge gets built over and existing railway (like at Somerton RD Somerton, Kororoit Creek RD Altona) North, Eastlink Yarraman) one would hope enough clearance Is provided for all future tracks.
  frezno Junior Train Controller

The things that are conspicuously absent from the plan are two of the cheaper and better upgrades that could be done to the network alongside the level crossing removal - new trains and high capacity signalling. Daniel Andrews should steal a march on Napthine and announce some proper funding for the Next Generation Train order along with maybe another interim order to get rid of the blasted Hitachis once-and-for-all. High Capacity Signalling would be far cheaper than Melbourne Metro and have network-wide benefits.
LancedDendrite


Why is everyone all of a sudden standing around jerking themselves over High Capacity signalling? As we see every day in the city loop we can runs trains at 2 minute intervals with our current infrastructure. Why on holy earth would we ever need a more frequent service than that in Melbourne? This is not Europe or Asia. People who want Melbourne to be like those places would be better off moving there than trying to change this once great city.

Do these people also not understand that once you introduce High Capacity Signalling you're 1 step away from driverless trains? PTV have already broached this by saying: "Lots of potential technologies than can stem from HCS systems for example train automation...". Again, driverless trains are something they may have in Europe and Asia, but this is Melbourne. Fatalities every few days, trespassers on the tracks, emergencies on the trains, etc. There is no way that I would ever catch a driverless train and if High Capacity Signalling comes in one day we wont have a choice.
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Would be interesting to see the logistics of doing all those level crossing upgrades on the Dandenong line. Elsewhere hasn't it been written that they can do 2 per year? Not so much due to budget but because of availaibility of skilled contractors? A rolling shutdown on the Dandenong line would wreak havoc for the Matyvale if the line had to shut every couple of weeks.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Why is everyone all of a sudden standing around jerking themselves over High Capacity signalling? As we see every day in the city loop we can runs trains at 2 minute intervals with our current infrastructure. Why on holy earth would we ever need a more frequent service than that in Melbourne? This is not Europe or Asia. People who want Melbourne to be like those places would be better off moving there than trying to change this once great city.

Do these people also not understand that once you introduce High Capacity Signalling you're 1 step away from driverless trains? PTV have already broached this by saying: "Lots of potential technologies than can stem from HCS systems for example train automation...". Again, driverless trains are something they may have in Europe and Asia, but this is Melbourne. Fatalities every few days, trespassers on the tracks, emergencies on the trains, etc. There is no way that I would ever catch a driverless train and if High Capacity Signalling comes in one day we wont have a choice.
frezno
Don't know what your point Is ?

You fear driverless trains ?

Trains coming Into and out of the city are at crush load level a peak times, old tech signalling, communications, train management systems and level crossings are stopping more trains from being run on the busy main lines.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Would be interesting to see the logistics of doing all those level crossing upgrades on the Dandenong line. Elsewhere hasn't it been written that they can do 2 per year? Not so much due to budget but because of availaibility of skilled contractors? A rolling shutdown on the Dandenong line would wreak havoc for the Matyvale if the line had to shut every couple of weeks.
Ballast_Plough
2 per year sounds low - the Mitcham project is doing two seps and a new station in one hit (and progressing quite well judging from what I've seen), Springvale is coming along and then you've got all the work being done for RRL. Once RRL finishes up you've got only one major project on the horizon - Melbourne Metro - and a bunch of smaller grade seps that are on Vicroad's list.

As for disruptions, you'd do a package of 3-4 grade seps on the Dandenong group per year, all in roughly the same place. That would probably be arranged as:
  • Grange Rd, Koornang Rd, Murumbeena Rd & Poath Rd (Carnegie-Murumbeena)
  • Clayton Rd & Centre Rd (probably along with a new Clayton station)
  • Corrigan Rd, Heatherton Rd, Chandler Rd
  • South Gippsland Hwy, Hallam Rd (Progress St isn't on the list but could probably be done at the same time)


Plus immediate work at Abbotts Rd for political brownie points.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
(Progress St isn't on the list but could probably be done at the same time)

Plus immediate work at Abbotts Rd for political brownie points.
LancedDendrite
Progress Street crossing should be closed and replaced by a new road link to the South Gippsland Highway over Eumemmerring Creek

Abbotts Road Crossing just needs a traffic camera, and later closed after Pound Road West - Remington Drive Is completed.

Greens road Is the local road that need grade separating.
  frezno Junior Train Controller

Trains coming Into and out of the city are at crush load level a peak times...
Nightfire

Perhaps the fact that trains are at 'crush load' at 9am in the morning has more to do with Melbourne's ridiculous overpopulation and lack of staggered business hours than it's ability to provide an adequate rail timetable.


...old tech signalling, communications, train management systems and level crossings are stopping more trains from being run on the busy main lines.
Nightfire
Yeah, because peak hour Pakenhams really need a better frequency than 9 minutes, Frankston is really struggling with it's huge gap of 4 minutes between trains, Glen Waverley is consistently choked and held back by it's restricting 7 minute service and how do the good people of Sandringham manage to cope with that massive 6 minute delay between trains?

There's no mention of better serving the people of Hurstbridge or Cranbourne by building dual tracks out there, or extending the line to Mernda, Baxter, Melton or a plethora of other places that millions and billions of $$ could be better spent. No, the most imperative important thing to keep Melbourne moving is that we eliminate every level crossing to Dandenong, build an unnecessary underground tunnel, pimp it and the Sandringham line out with HCS so we can run a train every 30 seconds to Pakenham, Sunbury and Sandringham.

The people that have the audacity to whinge about the fantastic services already available to them (and yet still 'campaign' for more) must live seriously sheltered lives. Get real.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

At what point is a city overpopulated? People who say that population is the problem are deluded. Cities grow. Melbourne will grow. History of the world tells us this. We need to plan for it.

Staggered hours is a cop out solution. The way society operates should not have to change just because the transport system lacks investment. Melbourne is still small enough that we can still solve our problems by building better infrastructure.

The Melbourne Metro and an upgrade to Dandenong capacity is needed. It is needed for both the West and the South East.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
There's no mention of better serving the people of Hurstbridge or Cranbourne by building dual tracks out there, or extending the line to Mernda, Baxter, Melton or a plethora of other places that millions and billions of $$ could be better spent. No, the most imperative important thing to keep Melbourne moving is that we eliminate every level crossing to Dandenong, build an unnecessary underground tunnel, pimp it and the Sandringham line out with HCS so we can run a train every 30 seconds to Pakenham, Sunbury and Sandringham.
frezno
Except that
  • The Mernda extension was mentioned in the document, had you actually read it.
  • Baxter won't have enough population growth in the short term to justify electrification - it's in the PTV plan though.
  • Ditto Hurstbridge regarding duplication, it's lucky that services weren't cut back to Eltham or Greensborough as planned in years past
  • Melton is currently V/Line track, so presumably the country transport plan is coming later with more info on that and other matters. If you want to get suburban trains to Melton, you need to improve capacity on the Sunbury line - requiring either Melbourne Metro or your favourite piece of technology, HCS.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland

  • Melton is currently V/Line track, so presumably the country transport plan is coming later with more info on that and other matters. If you want to get suburban trains to Melton, you need to improve capacity on the Sunbury line - requiring either Melbourne Metro or your favourite piece of technology, HCS.
LancedDendrite
When RRL operation starts In the next year or two, the lack of track capacity between Deer Park West (RRL Junction) and Melton will show up like a sore thumb.

Urban development will continue to surge around the Rockbank, Melton, Bacchus Marsh and onwards to the Greater Ballarat area,
existing trains will become jam packed with commuters, trains maxed out to their maximum length, but single track will be a barrier to adding any more services.

Deer Park West to Melton should of been duplicated as part of the RFR Project (would of been much more value for money then some of the re alinements carried out, that shaved less then a minute off running time)

Parwan loop should be extended Into Bacchus Marsh yard and towards the Melton Reservoir viaduct.  

Bacchus Marsh yard should be totally redeveloped with two though platforms, the existing platform and a new platform on the bypass mainline.

The train stableing yards should be relocated around the down end curve In a purpose built compound eliminating switch back shunting.

The old stableing yard would be developed Into a parkway, much the way Melton station has been developed.  

The down end of the existing platform could be restored back to full use (the setup today Is just silly)
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Andrews now out selling the package:

  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Except that
  • Baxter won't have enough population growth in the short term to justify electrification - it's in the PTV plan though.
LancedDendrite

I think Baxter is in the plan not because it has a massive population but because they've flagged it as a good place for a depot well away from everything. Needs the overhead to get everything there though...
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I think Baxter is in the plan not because it has a massive population but because they've flagged it as a good place for a depot well away from everything. Needs the overhead to get everything there though...
Ballast_Plough
On the subject of Baxter (the station yard area looks overgrown, neglected and greatly underused) how Is It In this day and age that the turnout for the former Mornington line Is still place, given the line sees heavy steel trains !
  frezno Junior Train Controller

Except that
  • The Mernda extension was mentioned in the document, had you actually read it.
  • Melton is currently V/Line track, so presumably the country transport plan is coming later with more info on that and other matters. If you want to get suburban trains to Melton, you need to improve capacity on the Sunbury line - requiring either Melbourne Metro or your favourite piece of technology, HCS.
LancedDendrite

Oh, that's nice, isn't it? They mentioned Mernda. Now, do you actually think they're going to do anything about that in a timely fashion? I doubt it since the election battle is clearly coming down to OMG METRO RAIL TUNNEL!!!!1111!111!1!!!1!!!1. Perhaps ask the people of Mernda where they think they sit on the list of priorities, compared to this tunnel.
At what point is a city overpopulated? People who say that population is the problem are deluded. Cities grow. Melbourne will grow. History of the world tells us this. We need to plan for it.
Mr. Lane

Hmm.. Overpopulation is probably when you can't go 30cm without having someone cut you off or run into you, like in Melbourne. You're deluding yourself if you think Melbourne is small and not overpopulated. Government tells us that cities have to grow because it's in the governments best interests - not the interests of the people who actually live in them. Cities may grow, but they don't have to get bigger.


Staggered hours is a cop out solution. The way society operates should not have to change just because the transport system lacks investment. Melbourne is still small enough that we can still solve our problems by building better infrastructure
Mr. Lane

You think staggered hours is a cop out solution? Well I think it's obscene having a debate about building a $9b Metro Fail Tunnel to appease the 9-5ers who flog the crap out of the system each day. Travel outside the standard peak times of 6am-9am and 4pm-7pm and there are more that enough seats available on the lines that will supposedly benefit from this holy grail solution to the worlds problems. You'll probably even find that there's a couple of hundred or more spare seats on many trains. The only time the trains are packed (failing a cancellation for obvious reasons) are during the peak. This could be easily fixed with timetable rejigs, and running the busy trains direct and shorter runs via the loop.

Oh, and don't forget the shelved 3rd rail to Dandenong. Just how is the Metro Fail tunnel going to help those V/Line trains from getting stuck behind a stopping all stations Pakenham at Clayton? It really is the worst thing we could possibly conceive wasting billions of dollars on. But hey, at least we'll be about to get from South Kensinston to South Yarra by train. We couldn't do that before! Oh, wait...
  Simbera Train Controller

  • Melton is currently V/Line track, so presumably the country transport plan is coming later with more info on that and other matters. If you want to get suburban trains to Melton, you need to improve capacity on the Sunbury line - requiring either Melbourne Metro or your favourite piece of technology, HCS.
LancedDendrite
I would tend to disagree with this. As much as I think Melb Metro is a worthy project for other reasons, they are currently running Sunbury Metro and Bendigo/Ballarat V/Line trains between Sunshine and the city - once you remove the V/Line services you'll have capacity enough for an electrified Melton service on the existing tracks.

Duplication to Melton absolutely is needed though, whether you electrify or not, as are the other upgrades to the Ballarat line Nightfire mentioned.
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
With respect to grade separations on the Dandenong Line, I have been told by DoT Planners that they dare not run more frequent services on this line as the level crossings are closed over 40% of the time during the peak period.  All they can hope to do in the mean time is add capacity to existing services (eg new generation trains to be bought from 2014).  Improved signalling might put the trains closer together and cut some of boom down time.

Grade separation is what the motorists would vote for.  They see ten tp twenty cars held up to let one train go past. They do not care about the 500 people on the train.
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Improved signalling might put the trains closer together and cut some of boom down time.
Edith

I would have thought the opposite. Run trains closer together and they'll basically both be sitting on the approach circuit meaning the booms stay down for both trains.

If the current problem is that booms stay down for 2 trains travelling in oppoposite direction, improved signalling shouldn't make any difference as the 2 trains aren't following each other.
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
What I have seen is up to five trains (in both directions) pass over  crossings while the booms are down.  Some may be stopping at the adjacent station, while others are express, eg Vline or empty cars. Bunching them up more means that the booms may come up between some of this group or that another train may be squeezed in over the same elapsed time.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I can't see why they are referred to as "dangerous" level crossings.  A more accurate term is that they are "time-consumimg" level crossings.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I can't see why they are referred to as "dangerous" level crossings.  A more accurate term is that they are "time-consumimg" level crossings.
Valvegear
That's just media talk, to rise people's eyebrows

Traffic cameras and signage of cameras, greatly reduces dangerous behaviour (anyone who then has a dangerous near "HIT" will get a letter In the mail, because of their dangerous driving behaviour)

But yes time-consuming, cutting a suburb In half Is the main problem.

I think there should be a major program to eliminate pedestrian level crossing network wide, particularly next to stations, you only have to watch the behaviour of people at a busy station like Berwick after a down train departs (people jumping of the platform, cutting across the tracks etc)
Then there are the people who race though the bypass gates to catch a train because they are running late.

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